TWO QUESTIONS FOR EVERY SELLER Let’s pretend you are on a listing appointment and you know these two things.
- The Sellers are not going to get anywhere near what they told you they want to get.
- The Sellers have promised to list with you if the three of you can agree on a price.
Here’s the situation: You have followed Floyd’s four-step appointment process to the letter. You know how much they want in advance because you have asked. You have done your research to prepare. Then you ring the bell, smile, etc. Take positive control. Stack problems. Inspect the house. Sell them on you and your company and your marketing plan. And then you bridge to your pricing presentation.
“Based on everything you’ve seen so far tonight, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, if we could agree on a price, would there be anything preventing you from letting me handle your listing?”
At this point, pricing becomes a moral issue, an ethical issue, a values-based issue. It’s really only a matter of three people who have already joined forces putting their heads together and coming up with the right number.
You know that all you have to do is tell them what they want to hear (the price that your research and experience tells you they’re not going to get anywhere near) and you will get their listing.
But more than likely it’s not going to sell.
No doubt about it, this is absolutely the most important time of year to build inventory. The real question is, what’s more important to you and to them? Just getting another listing on the market or getting it sold?
If morals, ethics and values matter to you, you use every Wickman technique at your disposal to get it priced right SO THAT IT SELLS. The dilemma dialogue. The wholesale-retail time pyramid. The 3 prices technique. The Best Kept Secret dialogue. Convert to net and close.
Then you wrap up. Make sure you’ve told them everything they need to know. Make sure they’ve told you everything you need to know. What’s your preferred method of communicating? How often do you want to hear from me with an update?
Now, before you leave, ask two more questions as an insurance policy against the unforeseen and the unpredictable. Ask them conversationally, as a kind of afterthought. Like Peter Falk’s great TV detective, Columbo, with one hand on the doorknob and the other to his forehead, as if he just thought of one more thing.
Here is the gist of the two questions, in so many words, but use your own words. Just get the answers.
“Let me ask you just two more questions, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, and I’ll be on my way. Do you agree that if we are not getting showings, we need to lower the price?”
If they say, “No,” tear up the listing and run, don’t walk, away. As in, “Well, I guess I can’t help you after all. Thanks for your time.”
If they say, “Yes, of course, that makes all the sense in the world,” then you follow up by asking, “What is the absolute maximum length of time you are willing to let go by without showings before we get together again and lower the price?”
If they say, “Six months,” negotiate. Floyd teaches that whenever you get an answer you don’t like, repeat the answer back with a questioning voice inflection and facial expression. “Six months?” As in, seriously, really, you’re kidding, right?
If they say something more reasonable, like two weeks, then you have just paid the first premium on your insurance policy.
The moral, honest and ethical thing to do is to price it right, but it always helps to get your Sellers to help you manage their expectations.